KUSA - An Adams County Sheriffs car hit an SUV on Brighton Road Saturday and investigators are looking into whether the deputy was distracted while driving.
"We're not supposed to be on the computer whenever we're driving. We're not supposed to be on the cell phone. We have the same cell phone rules as you guys," Trooper Tim Sutherland, Colorado State Patrol, said.
Sutherland says Arlee Roberson was stopped while driving an SUV going northbound on Brighton Road. He was trying to make a left turn into the driveway of a home on a two-lane road.
"I started to slow down and the next thing I know I heard brakes and then impact," Roberson said to investigators.
Deputy Benjamin Mainero smashed into the back of the SUV. Sutherland says he was responding to a call when the crash happened.
"[He] rear-ended the back of the SUV [and] the SUV went into the ditch," Sutherland said.
Kyle Jackson heard the accident right in front of his home and went outside to help.
"I heard a large bang," Jackson said.
When he went outside and saw the front of the deputy's car completely mangled and he went to check on Mainero.
"Oh, I was absolutely worried," Jackson said. "We went running over there."
Mainero was still conscious and Jackson said he indicated that he was OK.
"It's unbelievable that he's actually alright," Jackson said. "My first thought was, 'oh my God, he's not going to be okay.'"
Mainero was taken to the Denver Health Medical Center with moderate injuries. Roberson says he is sore, but he's doing fine.
Trooper Sutherland says investigators will look into whether Mainero was distracted while driving, which he says can easily happen in any police car.
"We have computers in the vehicle. We have microphones in the vehicle. We have dispatch speaking to us. We have radars to look at," Sutherland said.
Still, Sutherland says, law enforcement officers must be vigilant about never driving distracted.
"Most deputies and most troopers and anybody in our profession are good about that because we care about you guys," Sutherland said. "If we're out there preaching something to you guys, we have to go by the same rules."
The Colorado State Patrol will finish the investigation and states that charges are pending against Mainero.
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